The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) is the combined military forces of Jamaica, consisting of an Army, Air Wing and Coast Guard. The JDF is based upon the British military model with organisation, training, weapons and traditions closely aligned with Commonwealth Realm countries. Once chosen officer candidates are sent to one of several British or Canadian basic officer courses depending upon which arm of service they are slated for. Enlisted soldiers are given basic training at JDF Training Depot Newcastle. As on the British model NCOs are given several levels of professional training as they rise up the ranks. Additional military schools are available for speciality training in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
- 1 History
- 2 Major units of the Jamaica Defence Force
- 3 Army Equipment
- 4 Past Chiefs of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (1962–2007)
- 5 Chiefs of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (2008 onwards)
- 6 Bands
- 7 JDF Coast Guard
- 8 JDF Air Wing
- 9 Ranks of the Jamaica Defence Force
- 10 Additional Training
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
History[edit | edit source]
The JDF is directly descended from the British West India Regiment formed during the colonial era. The West India Regiment was used extensively by the British in policing the empire from 1795 to 1926. Other units in the JDF heritage include the early colonial Jamaica Militia, the Kingston Infantry Volunteers of WWI and reorganised into the Jamaican Infantry Volunteers in WWII. The West India Regiment was reformed in 1958 as part of the West Indies Federation. The dissolution of the Federation resulted in the establishment of the JDF.
The Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) comprises an infantry Regiment and Reserve Corps, an Air Wing, a Coast Guard fleet and a supporting Engineering Unit. The infantry regiment contains the 1st, 2nd and 3rd (National Reserve) battalions. The JDF Air Wing is divided into three flight units, a training unit, a support unit and the JDF Air Wing (National Reserve). The Coast Guard element is divided between seagoing crews and support crews. It conducts maritime safety and maritime law enforcement as well as defence-related operations. The support battalion contains a Military Police platoon as well as vehicle, armourers and supply units. The 1st Engineer Regiment provides military engineering support to the JDF. The Headquarters JDF contains the JDF commander, command staff as well as intelligence, judge advocate office, administrative and procurement sections.
In recent years the JDF has been called upon to assist the nation's police, the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in fighting drug smuggling and a rising crime rate which includes one of the highest murder rates in the world. JDF units actively conduct armed patrols with the JCF in high-crime areas and known gang neighbourhoods. There has been vocal controversy as well as support of this JDF role. In early 2005, an opposition leader, Edward Seaga, called for the merger of the JDF and JCF. This move has not garnered support in either organisation nor among the majority of citizens.
Major units of the Jamaica Defence Force[edit | edit source]
- Headquarters, Jamaica Defence Force (HQ JDF) - divided into the Operations Branch and Adjutant Quartermaster's Branch, this is the main command of the entire JDF.
- Headquarters, Jamaica Defence Force Intelligence Unit (HQ JDF Int)- provides intelligence to the JDF and The Jamaica Constabulary Force. (Despite its name this is not a sub-unit of JDF HQ, as it was given full unit status in 1983 and is headed by a Lt. Colonel.)
- 1st Battalion, The Jamaica Regiment (1JR) - raised in 1962, one of the two light infantry battalions comprising the main formation of the JDF.
- 2nd Battalion, The Jamaica Regiment (2JR) - raised in 1979, second of the two light infantry battalions comprising the main formation of the JDF.
- 3rd Battalion, The Jamaica Regiment (National Reserve) (3JR) (NR) - this is a volunteer infantry battalion.
- 1 Engineer Regiment (JDF) - this unit provides engineering support to all units of the JDF.
- Support and Services Battalion (Sp Svcs Bn)[dead link]
- this unit provides logistic and administrative support, and is divided into the following units:
- JDF Air Wing (JDF AW) - this provides air support for the infantry, and surveillance and maritime patrol, which is used in anti-drug missions.
- JDF Coast Guard (JDFCG) - this is the naval arm of the JDF, and has responsibility for maritime law enforcement and maritime safety.
- JDF Combat Support Battalion (JDF Cbt Sp Bn) - this unit will perform an essential role as a force multiplier and it will ensure the operational readiness of the Force by facilitating essential competence training.
Army Equipment[edit | edit source]
Past Chiefs of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (1962–2007)[edit | edit source]
|1962–1965||Brigadier Paul Edwin Crook, CBE, DSO|
|1965–1973||Brigadier David Hartman Smith, CVO, OBE, ED|
|1973||Brigadier Dunstan Fitzgerald Robinson, CD, OBE, ED|
|1973–1979||Major-General Rudolph Edward George Green, CD, OStJ|
|1979–1990||Major-General Robert James Neish, CD, AFC|
|1990–1998||Rear-Admiral Peter Lorenzo Brady, CD, CVO, MMM|
|1998–2002||Major-General John I Simmonds, CVO, OD|
|2002–2007||Rear-Admiral Hardley M Lewin, CD, ADC, JP, psc (n)|
|2007||Major-General Stewart Emerson St Leonard Saunders, CD, ADC, MSc, JP, psc|
In December 2007 the title of Chief of Staff was replaced by Chief of Defence Staff and filled by incumbent.
Chiefs of Defence Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force (2008 onwards)[edit | edit source]
|2008–2010||Major-General Stewart Emerson St Leonard Saunders, CD, JP, ADC, MSc, psc|
|2010-||Major-General Antony Bertram Anderson, OD, JP, MDA, BEng (Hons), psc|
Bands[edit | edit source]
The JDF also supports two military bands;
- Jamaica Military Band - this is the band that is descended from the band of the West India Regiment, and was formed in February 1927. It is one of only two units in the world (the other being the Band of the Barbados Regiment) that wears the uniform of the zouaves.
- Jamaica Regiment Band - this band was originally formed as the Band of the West India Regiment formed in 1959 as the military force of the Federation of the West Indies. With the Federation's break up and the independence of Jamaica, it became the Band of the 1st Battalion, Jamaica Regiment. It gained its current name with the formation of the 2nd Battalion in 1979.
JDF Coast Guard[edit | edit source]
Ships in Active Service
|Name of Ship||Length||Max speed||Crew/Capacity||Class||Builder||Delivery|
|HMJS Cornwall||42.8 m||26 knots||12 + 4||County Class Offshore Patrol Vessel||Damen Group||2006|
|HMJS Middlesex||42.8 m||26 knots||12 + 4||County Class Offshore Patrol Vessel||Damen Group||2006|
|HMJS Surrey||42.8 m||26 knots||12 + 4||County Class Offshore Patrol Vessel||Damen Group||2007|
|HMJS Fort Charles (P 7)||35.3 m||32 knots||16||Fort||Swiftships||1974|
|HMJS Paul Bogle (P 8)||32.3 m||30 knots||17||Hero||Lantana Boatyard||1985|
Other smaller vessels include:
- 9m Boston Whaler
- 6m Boston Whaler
- 12m Fast Patrol Craft (CG 121 - 124)
- 13m Fast Coast Interceptors
Retired Ships of the JDF Coast Guard
HMJS Yoruba (P 1)
HMJS Coromante (P 2)
HMJS Mandingo (P 3)
HMJS Discovery Bay (P 4)
HMJS Holland Bay (P 5)
HMJS Manatee Bay (P 6)
JDF Air Wing[edit | edit source]
|Manufacturer||Model||Use||Origin||Number In service||Notes||Image|
|Cessna||210M Centurion||Light Transport||United States||1||In service since 1983. 1st Flight|
|Britten-Norman||Islander BN-2A||Light Transport||United Kingdom||1||In service since 1974. 1st Flight|
|Diamond||DA40-FP||Trainer||Austria||2||In service since 2006. Jamaica Military Aviation School|
|Bell||Bell 407||Support Helicopter||United States||4||In service since 2007|
|Bell||Bell 206||Support Helicopter||United States||2||In service since 2008. Jamaica Military Aviation School|
|Bell||412EP||Support Helicopter||United States||1||In service since 1998. 2nd Flight|
|Eurocopter||AS 355N Ecureuil 2||Support Helicopter||France||4||In service since 1999. 3rd Flight|
|Bell 212||Rotary Wing||Support Helicopter||France||1|
Retired Aircraft[edit | edit source]
- Bell 47G Sioux - Two helicopters used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1963 to 1964.
- Bell 212 Twin Huey - Three helicopters used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1973 to 1999.
- Bell 222UT - One helicopter used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1986 to 1988.
- Bell UH-1H Iroquois - Four helicopters used by the 2nd Flight, for utility transport and support duties. In service from 1989 to 1998.
- Beech B60 Duke - One aircraft used by the 1st Flight, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narcotics duties. In service from 1975 to 2003.
- Beechcraft King Air A100 - One aircraft used by the 1st Flight, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narcotics duties. In service from 1975 to 2003.
- Cessna 185 Skywagon - Four aircraft used by the 1st Flight, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narcotics duties. In service from 1963 to 1985.
- De Havilland Canada Twin Otter - Two aircraft used by the 1st Flight, for fisheries protection, search and rescue, anti-narcotics duties. In service from 1967 to 1980.
Incidents[edit | edit source]
On July 1, 2009 a Jamaica Defence Force Air Wing Bell 412EP helicopter was on its way back to Up Park Camp from a training mission when it began experiencing mechanical issues. The helicopter crashed into the ground at Up Park Camp, injuring the captain, his co-pilot and a crew member.
Ranks of the Jamaica Defence Force[edit | edit source]
|JDF Coast Guard||Other Units|
|Rear Admiral||Major General|
|Sub Lieutenant||2nd Lieutenant|
|JDF Coast Guard||Other Units|
|Master Chief Petty Officer I||Warrant Officer 1|
|Master Chief Petty Officer II||Warrant Officer Class 2|
|Chief Petty Officer||Colour Sergeant / Staff Sergeant|
|Able Seaman||Lance Corporal|
Additional Training[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Jamaica Defence Force Senior Officers Biography
- Ships of the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard
- Jamaica Defence Force Aircraft
- Jamaica Defence Force History
- Jamaica Gleaner - Change of Guard
- Land Forces of Britain, The Empire and Commonwealth[dead link]
[edit | edit source]
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